Special exhibition begins at Miura Ayako Literature Museum to commemorate 100th anniversary of her birth

Visitors inspect manuscripts, a bible and the like, at the special exhibition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Miura Ayako

This year sees the 100th anniversary of the birth of Asahikawa-born writer Miura Ayako (1922 – ‘99). A special exhibition “Prism – Light, Love, and the Brightness of Life,” which introduces various aspects of Miura’s life, opened on April 1 at the Miura Ayako Literature Museum in the city of Asahikawa. On the first day, many fans visited the exhibition, which features displays related novels such as ‘Shiokari Pass,’ ‘Deiryuchitai,’ and the like, which are set in various locations in the Kamikawa region.
The special exhibition presents a three-dimensional view Miura from five different perspectives – as an author, her battle with illness, as a woman, her faith, and peace.
Miura suffered from severe shoulder and hand pain, and from when she wrote Shiokari Pass (1968), she began dictating the text, which her husband Mitsuyo transcribed to manuscript paper. The manuscript of Shiokari Pass is on display in the ‘author’ part of the exhibition.
Miura was a Christian, and her open bible is also on display. Quotations from Deiryuchitai, which is about the ‘Taisho mudflow’ caused by the 1926 eruption of Mt. Tokachi-dake, are underlined in red, showing it was read diligently.
The exhibition also conveys the lifestyle of Miura and her husband. In a letter accompanying Mitsuyo’s lunch box, the following is written, “I know I’m not very good at this, but please enjoy Ayako’s first packed lunch in a long time. With all my heart and gratitude.”

A poem he dedicated to Mitsuyo and her last will and testament, which she wrote before she married, are also displayed for the first time. A company employee from Kitahiroshima, who was visiting the exhibition, said, “It was good to learn about the strong core of the writer and her battle with illness over time.” A woman visiting from Fukagawa said, “I thought she was a tranquil writer, but now I know that she proactively tried to connect with the outside world. I want to re-read her work.”

Director of the museum, Namba Masachika said, “I hope this exhibition gives people a chance to see Miura Ayako from various perspectives, and also encourages the younger generations to read her work, too.”
The exhibition will run until March 21 next year.


Miura Ayako Literature Museum